Bernie Sanders Getting COVID Vaccine Spawns 'Bernie Gets a Tattoo' Memes

After Senator Bernie Sanders received the COVID vaccine over the weekend, a number of memes have cropped up, joking that the Vermont senator actually got a tattoo instead.

As seen below, the meme places a photo of Sanders with his sleeve rolled up, getting an injection from a doctor, right alongside a picture of a tattoo.

Very cool tattoo Bernie.

— TERBY :) (@_twiterb) December 21, 2020

exactly bernie sanders

— mel 🍁 (@rivphoenx) December 22, 2020

One of the tweets shows an infamously botched tattoo in which someone incorrectly quoted the lyrics to Bon Jovi's 2000 song "It's My Life" and mistakenly attributed them to "Jon Bovi." (The tat in question frequently appears in lists of the worst tattoo mistakes and is a regular meme among tattoo fans.)

— yeah i’m still emo, so what? (@ThyArtIsMemes) December 21, 2020

Other people on Twitter have used the meme to show love for a slew of other musical acts, whose political ideology might align with that of Sanders. One person used a Rage Against the Machine logo in his tweet. The New Jersey band Titus Andronicus shared a tweet featuring a large tattoo of their own logo and the lyrics "I'm more than some disease," which is from their 2015 song "Into the Void (Filler)."

— Titus Andronicus (@TitusAndronicus) December 22, 2020

Wow, Bernie showing off his love for Rage Against the Machine. 🤣

— RobbyBear 🏳️‍🌈🧸 🌹 (@RobbyBear512) December 20, 2020

Even a politician joined in on the fun. New York City councilman Justin Brannan shared a picture of the Black Flag logo tattooed next to Sanders. This comes as no surprise, as Brannan was a prominent member of the New York hardcore punk scene before being elected. He was in the bands Indecision and Most Precious Blood. The councilman also has a few tattoos himself, as are visible in his headshot on Twitter.

My man!

— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) December 21, 2020

Unfortunately, some people have also used the photo and meme format in bad faith, sharing a combination that could be construed as anti-Semitic. One of the tweets out there features a picture of a tattoo of the "Liberty Green" hexadecimal code, which is a nod to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign. As conservative-leaning outlet The Washington Examiner noted, the "Liberty Green" hex code tattoos were criticized for resembling markings that were given to Jews in the Holocaust. People criticized users on Twitter for joking that Sanders received one of the Warren tattoos, saying that it was anti-Semitic.

The Warren liberty green hexidecimal tattoo was bad because it resembled a concentration camp branding, and its overtly antisemitic to joke about putting that mark on a Jewish politician like Bernie

— crass iron skillet (@SouthrnGothHick) December 21, 2020

tw// antisemitism

this doesn’t sit well with me. the tattoo received backlash for resembling holocaust tattoos,,, and you’re joking that a jewish man would get one? this could totally be a bernie siding with warren joke, but it’s beyond tone deaf imo.

— mivki ☽☾ (@mivmine) December 21, 2020

Sanders actually received the vaccine on Saturday. He shared a photo of it being administered by U.S. Capitol physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan on his Senate website. In a statement, he told people to still be cautious in the face of COVID-19. "Following the advice of the Office of the Attending Physician, today I received the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue wearing masks and engage in social distancing. That is how we will beat this virus and end this terrible pandemic," he said.

Bernie Sanders Mask Senate Capitol
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wears a protective mask while departing the U.S. Capitol on December 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. Stefani Reynolds/Getty

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